As a visual thinker, I’ve been consistently cataloging inspiration from magazines and elsewhere since my early teens. Back then, a lot of time was spent scouring the latest issue of Vogue, InStyle and Martha Stewart Living, pulling out pages, cutting, taping, and labeling images within a book. Time consuming? Yes.

As inspiration and more and more images appeared online I eventually started bookmarking links I liked in my web browser and saving images that inspired me. The big limitation with both of these options, however, was that if it was a bookmark, there was no visual reference…just row upon row of links that I liked at some point. With the saved jpgs, there wasn’t a link to get back to where I originally found the image which often resulted in frustrated searching as I wracked my brain to remember which site I had found the inspiration.

Enter Pinterest. My new favorite way to save things that inspire me. It’s a visual, social catalog. I came across Pinterest this spring thanks to a pal who sent me an invite and I’ve been obsessed ever since. You basically create virtual pin boards – Pinterest provides you with starter boards, but you can change the names and add and categorize as needed. You can also install a bookmarklet into your browser so you can “pin” images as you wander through your favorite sites of inspiration.

I have boards for everything from dinner ideas to party planning to sewing inspiration and d.i.y. craft ideas. The options are endless. We’re even cataloging our artists {at work} for ArtMail.

Pin boards are public, and meant to be shared and categorized. People can follow your boards, repin items from your board to their own, like, tag and add captions or responses. You can also create community, collaborative boards where multiple people have access to pinning.

Currently, you gain access to the site by invitation, which you can request, but it seems that invites appear in your inbox pretty fast.

What inspires you? What boards will you create?

Happy Monday,

- Colleen